NEW DELHI: All the seven Union Territories accounting for 16 Urban Local Bodies including the three municipal corporations of Delhi will become Open Defecation Free (ODF) by March next year.
Concerned over slow pace of urban mission projects in the union territories, union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu urged all the seven UTs to speed up implementation of various urban missions meant for improving infrastructure relating to sanitation, water supply and sewerage and affordable housing.
Noting sanitation as a major area of concern in Delhi, Naidu asked the Delhi Government and municipal bodies to focus on solid waste management and segregation of municipal waste at source.
During the review Delhi Government officials informed that 6.22 lakh households in Delhi will be provided with water taps over the next two years under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). At present 23.78 lakh households accounting for 58% of the total 41 lakh households have water connections and this will be increased to 73% under AMRUT. Sewerage connectivity will be increased from the present 57% to 65% under AMRUT.
A senior official said that the municipal bodies assured that they are working on community and public toilet construction in various parts of the city to become Open Defecation Free as soon as possible. Only three of 201 individual household toilets for which demand has so far been received have been so far built besides 11,138 of the 22,891 community and public toilet seats required.
Of the 16 urban local bodies in the UTs, only three including New Delhi Municipal Council, Chandigarh and Mahe in Puducherry have become ODF so far. During the review, respective governments committed to make other 13 ULBs ODF by March next year.
Moreover, NDMC, the VIP area of the national capital was asked to speed up execution of its smart city plan with focus on impactful projects like smart roads and smart parking, pedestrianisation of Connaught Place etc.
Venkaiah Naidu stressed on the importance of quality urban infrastructure in UTs. He said that Delhi being the national capital is the point of convergence of hopes and aspirations of the people of the country leading to rising migrant population while Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and other smaller UTs are major tourist destinations.
Urban development minister, Delhi government, Satyendra Jain who attended the meeting in place of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal stated that the focus in the national capital is on building community and public toilet seats since those who have land built individual household toilets. The ministry had invited the Delhi CM for the meeting.